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2 Corinthians 5:16-21 - The test of Yahweh's exchange program

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From now on, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


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This is the Epistle selection to be read aloud on the fourth Sunday in Lent, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow an Old Testament reading from Joshua, where it is written: “Yahweh said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt." And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.” That will be followed by a singing of Psalm 32, where David wrote: “Happy are they to whom Yahweh imputes no guilt, and in whose spirit there is no guile!” All will accompany the Gospel selection from Luke, where Jesus told the parable of the man with two sons, saying: “When [the prodigal son] had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.”


In these six verses above, six times Paul wrote a form of “Christos,” which has been translated as “Christ. Five times Paul wrote a form of “Theos,” which has been translated as “God.” At no time did Paul the name “Jesus.” Not only did Paul not write “Jesus” in any of these six verses, he did not write that name anywhere in his fifth chapter, sent in his second letter to the true Christians of Corinth. This makes it very important to understand what Paul referred to when he wrote “Christ,” but not “Jesus.”


Every Sunday I watch a live telecast of a local Baptist minister’s Sunday sermon. Routinely he refers to “Christ,” when he clearly is referencing Jesus. He promotes belief in Jesus as THE Christ, so every time he says “Christ,” he uses that word as if it is a nickname for Jesus. It comes across as if “Jesus Christ” was the name given to Jesus when he was born … as his ‘last name.’ It is routine to hear people speak of waiting for Jesus to return at the end of the world – the End Times – and talk about a ‘rapture’ that people will experience when they are carried off to Heaven. All of this externalizes “Jesus” and “Christ,” so nobody is taught they can ever become Jesus reborn, or become a Christ. One elderly Episcopalian stared at about seven of us elderly in a Bible Studies class, asking (with an obvious attitude that expected all to be like him), “Nobody here thinking he or she is Jesus, right?”


We should all be taught to be Jesus reborn. We should all be taught we must become a Christ. We must all see Yahweh (call him God) as who made our souls and to whom our souls shall be indebted. To not be taught to seek to know Yahweh as His Son … as His Christ … is to led to find eternal damnation.


The Greek word “Christos” means “Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ.” When written in the lower-case, as “christos,” it means a public display of physical anointment, where grease, oil, or water is poured or rubbed onto one’s forehead. It is like the physical display of baptism by water, where one is ceremoniously dunked in a pool of water, or (in a christening) when a priest pours water from a cup, dipped into a baptismal font (holding water blessed as holy by that priest) over an infant’s forehead. The Greek word “christos” has the exact same meaning as the Hebrew word “mashiaḥ” – “anointed.” David was “anointed” by Samuel; but Yahweh “Mashiah” David by an outpouring of His Spirit onto David’s soul. The capitalization of “Christos” says the act of “Anointment” is done Spiritually, and only by Yahweh.


Certainly, Yahweh sent His Son into the world to be born of flesh and live as “The Christ” incarnate. Jesus was not “God” incarnate, because he was the Son of God. Jesus was actually the soul of Adam – the only Son made by Yahweh – in whom Yahweh placed the “elohim” that is “The Christ.” Adam was the “Anointment” of flesh with a most divine soul – a Yahweh elohim. Jesus is then the Yahweh elohim of Adam (The Son of God) placed into the womb of a virgin girl (young woman), to become Adam reborn, with the Yahweh elohim given by Yahweh [His “Anointment”] as his Son being name “Yah[weh] Will Save. [the meaning of "Jesus"].


The plan was to have Jesus be the seed of the Christ that had to die, so the Christ soul could then be placed [Yahweh’s “Anointment”] into an ordinary soul; so, to be reborn as Jesus [his soul resurrected within one’s soul] means to be “Anointed” by Yahweh [marriage of one’s soul to Him] AND to be reborn as Jesus … meaning being reborn as “The Christ.” Therefore, when Paul makes six references to “Christ,” he is speaking of one’s soul having become where Yahweh’s Son has resurrected within one’s ordinary soul; and, that resurrection makes one the Christ, as Jesus reborn, as a new Son of God.


The name of the movement that resulted from Apostles [like Paul] being resurrections of Jesus, as a Christ, is the truth behind the word “Christianity.” That name or title means only those souls who have become “Anointed” by Yahweh, becoming those souls where the Son of Yahweh’s soul has been resurrected [making each become a Yahweh elohim], and where all are Jesus reborn, continuing his ministry under other names for their flesh, is the truth. Christianity is not a club to join, where one’s soul has not been “Anointed” by Yahweh, and one’s soul is not Jesus reborn. "Christianity" is a state of being - a lifestyle - not a meaningless association of based on common beliefs.


All of what I have just written can be found supported in what Paul wrote in these six verses. The point that needs to be understood is duality. Oneself is an ordinary soul giving animation to a body of flesh. An ordinary soul naturally becomes sinful, simply from living in a world that promotes sin. To gain eternal life, one has to be spiritually cleansed of sin; and, that can only come from gaining a second soul that cleanses.


That soul is the one placed by Yahweh into “Man” (we call him “Adam”], which is the “Yahweh elohim” found stated eleven times in Genesis 2, when Adam was made – the Son of Yahweh. An ordinary soul can only be Baptized by Yahweh’s Spirit, in order to be cleansed of sin; and, to ensure no new sins ever come upon one’s soul after Baptism, Yahweh sends the soul of His Son to join with one’s soul, so two are then one. The “Christ,” as Jesus reborn, becomes the Lord over one’s flesh forevermore.


Verse sixteen begins with a capitalized “Hōste,” which is a divinely elevated word that must be realized to connect to Yahweh in some way. The lower-case spelling has the word mean (mundanely) “therefore,” which seems benign in its meaning. It is read simply as a conjunction, connecting one verse to the next. However, as a capitalized word the truth behind the word “Hōste” needs to be known.


According to HELPS Word-studies: “hṓste (a conjunction, derived from 5613 /hōs, "as" and 5037 /, "both-and") – wherefore (with the result that both . . . ), connecting cause to necessary effect which emphasizes the result (the combined, end-accomplishment). The result involved then is the combination of both elements in the correlation, underscoring the inevitable effect of the paired elements.” This explanation of “Hōste” is then saying that the result of a true Christian is a combination of both the ordinary (the before) and the divine (the after), which brings about the result of Jesus having been reborn in new flesh.


When that divinely elevated meaning is seen, the word that then follows is “hēmeis,” which seems to simply say “we.” When that spelling is the first-person plural possessive pronoun that means “of ourselves.” To see a capitalized “Hōste” as a Spiritual addition, where “both” is the result, a “self” must be seen as a “soul,” so “hēmeis” becomes a statement of divine possession that is “of our souls.” That then leads to the Greek word “apo,” which says “away from,” so that says one’s ordinary “soul” (“of ourselves”) has been removed or set aside, “away from” control of one’s flesh.


The words that then follow (“tou nyn”) say “of this at the present,” which says this duality of being was not what it once had been, when “of our souls” we had possession, as ordinary human beings. Thus, the “present” condition that Paul wrote of is not what one used to be. The change is then said to be such that “none perceive according to the flesh.” That says such perception was previously done by the physical senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. However, the “Therefore” has taken their souls away from discerning things in that manner.


Following a comma mark, one word is written before Paul wrote the word “kai,” which is a marker word, denoting importance to follow that word’s use. The one word written says “if,” which becomes the conditional that says not all have been divinely changed. Thus, the importance to follow will address those who have met the conditions of being divinely changed.


The important condition met is then stated similarly as before: “we have perceived according to the flesh Christ.” This important states the difference between the ‘before’ and the ‘after’ as being the presence of Yahweh’s “Anointment” ["Christ"]. Whereas one’s soul used to “regard,” or “perceive,” or “is aware,” or “beholds” (all as forms of “eidó”) according to only senses of the flesh, those who met the conditions importantly then saw from a Spiritual perspective, which was a divinely elevated ability that overcame their normal senses.


This then led Paul to conclude verse sixteen by writing, “except at the present no more we perceive.’ Here, those who meet the condition of a "Christ" are “exceptions” to the ordinary. Those “on the other hand” are “presently” not as they used to be. The old way of being led by a soul to sense externally through the body of flesh is “no more.” The first-person plural form of “ginóskó,” which is a personal experience of knowing (an elevation of “eidó”) then says “of our souls” (“we”) do Paul and the Corinthians “come to know, recognize, perceive.” That new way of “perception” is divinely inspired, as a "Christ."


Nothing stated in this verse sixteen, where Paul wrote “Christon,” has to do with an external Jesus. It is a personal experience of how Jesus felt, because one’s soul had become “Anointed” by Yahweh as the rebirth of His Son. Just as Jesus was The Christ, one has become the reproduction of him, as a Christ. The knowledge of Jesus was then duplicated in all who were possessed by Yahweh and granted access to the “Christ” mind.


Paul also began verse seventeen with the word “hōste,” but in the lower-case. This then transitions from the “result that both” is accepted to have met the condition of Spiritual possession, as a Christ. Paul then followed that with “if” again, saying that condition is only met in “certain ones” [from “tis”]. Whenever this word “tis” is used [in all its forms] in Greek Scripture, it refers to those known, not strangers. The meaning here then says the “result that both” meet the condition “if,” then those are “certain ones” who have entered “into,” and conversely been entered “into,” the condition that is “the Christ” [from “Christō”]. Those souls are known by Yahweh in marriage.


Following the pause marked by a comma mark, Paul continued by saying, “a new creation” or “a fresh creature.” This confirms that the old has passed away and “a new” self has been formed. Certainly, by knowing the “Christ” is Spiritual, as an “Anointment” by Yahweh, the “flesh” has not changed in any way. That which is “new” is Spiritual, thus the “creation” comes by the presence of Yahweh.


Following another comma mark, Paul wrote “those original passed away.” Here, again, there is confirmation of the ‘before’ and ‘after,’ where “those” souls [“ourselves”, as “we”] that had been prior to “at the present” time – the “original” of a normal soul-body entity – has become “rendered void, become vain, neglected, and/or disregarded.” The intent here is to say the “old” has become the “past,” and will never return. It has become like the “ancient” ways. This become metaphor for the death of the way one was; and, death then leads to rebirth – “the new creation.”


Following a semi-colon, Paul wrote one word to consider alone: “behold!” This means to place focus on that which has come anew. One needs to “look!” at the difference and see how the old and the new are so different. Thus, he follows that “behold!” by writing, “has been born new.” This is the rebirth that Jesus told Nicodemus about, saying, “No one can see the kingdom of God without being born anew,” where the word translated as “anew” equally translates as “from above.” That same implication must be seen here, as the word written by Paul assumes “not found exactly like this before,” with the connection to “Christ” (as capitalized) implying “from above.”


In verse eighteen, Paul then capitalized the article “Ta,” which becomes a statement of divinely elevated souls that are “These” or “Those” whose “old selves” had “passed away.” He said, “These now all from out of of this of God,” where the possessive case written in “tou Theou” becomes a statement of Spiritual possession “of this” who are “These now,” who are “all of God.” This means no such transformation from the old to the new would be possible without the possession “of God.” That possession says the “Christ” is His “Anointment,” which is poured out at the time a soul become possessed.


Paul then added, following a comma mark, “of this of having been exchanged our souls to his soul through of Christ.” Here, “ourselves” has been modified by me to say “our souls,” because it is the souls of oneself that are possessed by Yahweh. Where I have translated “of having been exchanged,” the traditional translation says “reconciled.” The “exchange” is from a soul given at birth, with the free will to do as that soul pleased, that freedom has be forfeited by one’s soul, sacrificed [“has passed away”] so Yahweh can regain possession of it. Where the translation says “Himself” [artificially capitalized by the translators to state the “self” of God], the “soul” of Yahweh is His elohim, which is Adam-Jesus [His Son]. Thus, the exchange is this: from one’s soul lording over its body of flesh, to the divine soul of Jesus becoming one’s Lord; and, that makes oneself become “of Christ,” where the soul of Jesus takes possession of one’s soul for Yahweh.


After that powerful statement is made, Paul then followed a comma mark with another use of the word “kai,” which denotes an important statement is to follow. That statement says, “of having been given of our souls this service of this of restoration to favor.” In this, the translation of “service” equally means “ministry,” which becomes the expectation of “active service” as a soul reborn as Jesus. His “ministry” is continued through a new soul having been sacrificed, in order to gain redemption. This says the translation “of restoration to favor” equally means “reconciliation,” where the sins of the past have been “reconciled” and washed away by Spiritual Baptism. Again, this expectation is due to an agreed possession, when one has submitted self-will unto the Will of the Father.


In verse nineteen, Paul states, “like that God existed within Christ order exchanging of his soul.” Once more, “himself” has been translated as “his soul,” which is Yahweh’s divine soul created in His Son Adam, the eternal “Yahweh elohim.” The comparison made – “like that God existed within Christ” – implies that Jesus was “the Christ,” in whom was the Father, just as was the Father in the Son. This says that “the Christ” is not limited to Jesus (thus his name is not mentioned). Instead, “God exists within the Christ,” so in whatever soul possessing flesh “that God exists,” that is where “within Christ exists.” That returns “order” or the “ordered system” that the “world” reflects upon human beings, so in “exchange” for a soul that cannot resist the “order” the “world” places on a soul, the “Christ of God reconciles order” to the way of the spiritual. This is what saves a soul.


Following a comma mark, Paul then wrote, “not reckoning of their souls those trespasses of those souls,” which speaks of the debt a soul owes for sins while animating flesh in the world. The use of “not” says Yahweh will “not” judge a soul based on past sins, when those souls have repented and been Spiritually exchanged.


Then, Paul ended verse nineteen by beginning the last segment of words with “kai,” which once more places importance on that stated next. Here he wrote, “having established within our souls this divine utterance of this of a restoration to favor.” This importantly says the “placement” of Yahweh’s “Christ” becomes “fixed” and “established,” so firmly instilled “within our souls” [from “ourselves” or “us”] that His “Word” becomes the erasure of all past sins. A soul’s newborn ability to hear Yahweh speak “within” keeps one from ever again seeking self-importance or independence from Yahweh.


Verse twenty then repeats the possession “of Christ” twice, while relating that possession to being “of God,” while repeating that as “to God.” It is a complex verse that fully sates: “For the sake of Christ then we are elders , like of this of God of encouraging on account of our souls , our souls beg on behalf of Christ : you be exchanged this to God .” This says one’s soul is not saved for one alone. One’s soul is “exchanged” before Judgment, so one’s soul has time to spend in ministry, preaching the truth of “reconciliation,” so other lost soul can likewise become “exchanged.” To be an “elder” or “ambassador” that others will follow, one must present the “Christ” in the same way Jesus did in his ministry. The projection “of Christ” is magnetic and lost souls will be drawn to it. Because all souls are “of God,” they innately know a need to return “to God.” The “Christ” is then the beacon of truth that is sent by Yahweh to the lost souls.


In verse twenty-one, Paul wrote: “this not having known sin , on behalf of our souls he made , in order that our souls might be born righteousness of God within his soul.” Here, again, pronouns in the plural are read as “ourselves,” with “selves” being equated to “souls.” This verse leans one heavily toward seeing Jesus as the intent, as he was born sin free, with the “Christ” soul, thereby able to resist all temptations to sin. Still, Jesus is the reincarnation of the soul of Adam, which was created by Yahweh for the purpose of saving souls from sin. Thus, “this not having known sin” can be read as “this” state of “exchange” is that which removes all past “sin,” so one comes to a state of being of “not knowing sin” anymore. This is Jesus repeated countless times in “reconciliation.” That soul whose name says “Yahweh Saves” was made for that purpose – Salvation. It is how “righteousness” returns into the world. It comes “of God,” as His possession of lost souls, into whom can be reborn “his soul” named Jesus – “the Christ.”


As an Epistle selection to be read aloud on the fourth Sunday in Lent, when the lesson of testing is ongoing, the lesson here is a test can only be passed by those souls that have been “exchanged.” An ordinary soul is incapable of passing the test of commitment to Yahweh. An ordinary soul must sacrifice self [be passing away], so it can be reborn anew. One must realize the test of commitment to Yahweh comes by being “Anointed” as His Son. To even begin to get to that point, one must stop thinking belief is enough. One needs to stop saying, “I believe,” while keeping an eye out for Jesus coming down from the sky. This lesson says one must become the “Christ,” as Jesus reborn. Then one must enter ministry as a servant of Yahweh – His Son.

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